Top 5 defensemen the Canadiens should target in free agency

The Montreal Canadiens should have just enough cap space to ink a solid blueliner to a deal who would immediately upgrade the unit.
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Chris Tanev could repurpose into helping a team build next season

Okay, this one is more of a longshot since Chris Tanev should be more than happy playing for a contender in the Dallas Stars. But I’m mentioning him in the event Dallas wins the Stanley Cup and/or only saw Tanev as a rental. This would give him the green light to embark on one of two routes: He could either A, seek another contender to play for or B, help a team like the Canadiens work their way to the next level. 

Like Scandella, Tanev brings experience, and there’s a good chance at his age he won’t be looking for an AAV of $4.5 million should he prove to be a rental in Dallas. Regardless of what happens with Savard, signing a player like Tanev would be beneficial, as he is still one of the best in the league at frustrating would-be scorers. He had 207 blocks this season, indicating there are few defensemen out there who are better at finding the right position so consistently. 

While signing a player like Tanev - and the next two guys on this list - could potentially create problems for incoming prospects, it’s also worth mentioning trade value. The Canadiens could bring in Tanev and trade him at some point in the season if they aren’t contending and would like to call up some youngsters. A player like him would also bring in some value.